Analysts have suggested hardware shortages shoulder part of the blame for industry sales shortfalls over the past few months -- but retailer GameStop says constraints for PlayStation 3 are severe.
On the company's quarterly results
call to investors, chief operating officer Paul Raines said that in its stores, PS3s have been out of stock a surprising 80 percent of the time during the company's February-April quarter.
In April, PS3 unit sales were up 32 percent
year-over-year, but at 181,000 units per month, it's still a smaller volume than many analysts expect.
Sony has alluded to its difficulty getting supply to retailers as a reason for the drop-off, but such severe constraints as illustrated by GameStop may help explain why the console has gone from selling 90,000 systems per week in February to only 45,000 systems per week in April.
Nintendo's Wii still faces constraints, too -- Raines said the Wii was out of stock at GameStop stores 50 percent of the time.
Those supply constraints challenged GameStop's own performance
, and the company attributes a 1.6 year-over-year decline in comparable store sales to hardware shortages.